FALLOPPIO, Gabriele.

STATE-OF-THE-ART RENAISSANCE MEDICINE

FALLOPPIO, Gabriele. Opera omnia. [Tomus I-II]. (with) Appendix.

Frankfurt, (I-II) apud haeredes Andreae Wecheli, (III) Typis Wechelianis, 1600, 1606

£1,750.00

FIRST EDITION of last. Tall folio. 3 works in 1, separate titles. I: pp. (xvi) 749 (xliii); II: pp. (viii) 344 (xxviii); III: pp. 98 (ii). Roman letter, little Italic. Large woodcut printer’s device to titles and last verso, a handful of small anatomical or chemical woodcuts, decorated initials and ornaments. Uniform browning (poor paper), very minor wormholes or trails to outer or lower blank margin of few gatherings (just touching the odd letter on first few ll. of III), the odd ink spot, I: title a trifle dusty, holed at blank gutter and fore-edge, and small and clean, from fore-edge of 3D2, II: small flaw to lower blank corner of q1. Good, clean copies in early C17 polished calf, double gilt ruled, spine gilt and gilt-lettered, joints, extremities, and head and foot of spine expertly repaired, a bit scuffed. Ms. ex-libris ‘MD 1789’ to front pastedown (name erased), early ms. price (?) inked to fly, perhaps repeated in red crayon to verso (partly erased), C19 ms. ‘ch. Renault’ at head of first title, C18 ms. ‘Jacqueline Callard’ and another (illegible) to rear ep verso and pastedown, occasional underlining in ink and pencil.

Good copies of the second edition, in 2 volumes, of Gabriele Falloppio’s complete medical works, bound with the first edition of the Appendix. This edition appears to be identical to the first of 1585. Falloppio (1523-62) was a major physician and anatomist, professor at Ferrara (where he taught Fabricius ab Aquapendente), Pisa and Padua. Several anatomical formations, of which he provided ground-breaking descriptions and studies, are still named after him, e.g., Fallopian tubes, ‘aquaeductus Fallopii’. 

 

The present collected edition brings together his entire written production, encompassing pharmacology, natural science, medical treatments and anatomy. The volumes include four works on ‘materia medica’ – ‘De simplicibus medicamentis purgantibus’ (on laxative herbs), ‘De asparagis’ (his reply to Mercuriale on the botanical identification of ‘asparagus sylvestris’), ‘De medicamentis simplicibus’ (on herbal medicaments) and ‘De materia medicinali’ (a commentary to Dioscorides’s Book I). One work (‘De medicatis aquis’) is devoted to therapeutic thermal waters; two (‘De compositione medicamentorum’, ‘De metallis & fossilibus’) to the chemical elements and the composition of medicaments. ‘Obseruationes anatomicae’ and ‘Institutiones anatomicae’ discuss general anatomical theory, including neuroanatomy;‘De ossibus expositio’ (a commentary on Galen) and ‘Obseruationes de venis’ focus on bones and veins. ‘De partibus similaribus’ deals with the nature of the human body and the humours. The last and most curious – ‘De decoratione’ – discusses how to restore physical beauty (as a medical concept), i.e., ‘the proportion and analogy, in substance, quantity, place and appearance, of all body parts’. It analyses the causes and treatment of obesity and weakness, as well as how to reconstruct a nose or short prepuce, how to make breasts bigger (through baths), and the reduction of large testicles (which ‘make adolescents disgraceful, lustful and inept at singing’). ‘De morbo Gallico’, entirely on the causes, symptoms and treatment of syphilis, includes a description of a linen sheath – often (wrongly) described as the first mention of a condom – containing a medicament against ulcers, to be placed pre-emptively on the penis before or after intercourse. The remainder illustrate the nature and treatment of wounds (with a commentary on Hippocrates), ulcers, dislocations, fractures and tumours. The Appendix integrates the previous with 27 chapters on specific subjects including ulcers, wounds, cancer, fistulae and the surgical correction of facial scars – first published here, enlarged with matter reproduced from Falloppio’s original ms. marginalia.

Charles Renault was likely the physician (1838-1916), author of ‘La Syphilis au XVe siècle’. USTC 658526; Wellcome I, 2166; I-II: VD16 F 580; III: VD17 23:298071D. Not in Krivatsy (but now at NLM).
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